Metro FM presenter Unathi Msengana reflects on the time where she nearly lost her job. Unathi was suspended by Metro FM due to an incident that she was not taking serious and it led to the whole country talking about it. The use of offensive language was the cause of the suspension.
The suspension came hot on the heels of a Twitter war she got into with a listener‚ who responded to comments she made on-air about Stellenbosch University students being taught in Afrikaans. Unathi and the Twitter user subsequently got into a war of words in a series of direct messages‚ which were made public.
Unathi was suspended from the radio station for six weeks with no pay. Despite being at a dark place the radio personality and songstress threw herself into music‚ which led to the birth of her hit track with DJ Merlon‚ Sonini. Unathi indicated that during the entire debacle it surprised her‚ that some people “celebrated” the suspension.
She indicated again that she was hurt as some people celebrated her suspension on Metro FM and the reason was that she was standing up for her family as her family had nothing to do with her comments as they were also attacked.
The SABC suspended her over using an insulting word on her comment on Twitter. During the time, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago indicated that Msengana was not suspended for her comments and questions on air, but for things she tweeted her listeners after the show. The comments had an effect on SABC according to Kganyago.
The incident that led to Unathi being suspended was during an interview with a Stellenbosch University industrial engineering student, Anelisiwe Mdube where the student was sharing their experiences with the varsity lecturing them in Afrikaans. Mdube stated that although the university claims to be multilingual, most lectures are still conducted only in Afrikaans.
Msengana, asked Mdube whether or not the students had read the universities language policies. When the student tried to explain that it was not made clear that she would be lectured in Afrikaans. Msengana would allegedly not hear of it.
The matter then escalated as people took to social media to voice their disappointment in the way Msengana handled the issue. The twitter hashtag #UnathiBeLike trended on Twitter. This is the hashtag that lead to more trouble for Msengana. A private DM (direct message) conversation between herself and a twitter follower was made public where Msengana allegedly called a young women a very bad name.
Unathi then apologized for her behavior and her apology was accepted and she indicated that she would not use the insulting words again when interacting with followers on every communication platform.
During the whole ordeal, Unathi indicated that she was very stressed as she did not know whether she would lose her job or not. She said her life was not the same during the ordeal and a lot of things were never the same at the time. She thanked all the people who supported her during the ordeal. Unathi was later reinstated to Metro FM to continue with presenting the show with Glen Lewis.